Stewards issue Vettel grid penalty

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has been issued a three-place grid penalty for impeding Carlos Sainz during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver was judged to have blocked Sainz on the exit of Turn 1 during Q2 when the Renault driver was beginning a final flying lap at the Red Bull Ring.

Sainz was forced to take avoiding action by running over the kerbs which damaged his front wing, although the incident did not prevent the Renault driver from progressing to Q3, where he secured ninth on the grid.

Vettel had qualified third but will now start Sunday’s race from sixth behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean.

“It is the belief of the Stewards that notwithstanding the absence of a radio call, the driver of car 5 (Vettel), being aware of the issue of rear vision with his mirrors, should not have been so slow and on the racing line, during a slowdown lap in Qualification,” read a report from the stewards.

“Having reviewed all alleged impeding incidents since the beginning of 2016, the penalty of a drop of three grid positions is consistent with all other similar incidents.”

Vettel has also copped a penalty point on licence for his actions.

Valtteri Bottas will start the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position alongside Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Updated Austrian Grand Prix Grid

Position Driver Car Time Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m03.130s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m03.149s 0.019s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m03.660s 0.530s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m03.840s 0.710s
5 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m03.892s 0.762s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m03.464s 0.334s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m03.996s 0.866s
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m04.051s 0.921s
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m04.725s 1.595s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m05.019s 1.889s
11 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m04.845s Q2
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m04.874s Q2
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m05.058s Q2
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m05.286s Q2
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m05.271s Q1
16 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m05.279s Q1
17 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m05.322s Q1
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m04.979s Q2 five-place grid penalty
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m05.366s Q1
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m05.479s Q1

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